When you sleep inside a closed room you are completely disconnected from the outside. It s warm and cosy but without the sunlight it s hard to know when it s time to rise up. My host in Chapra had given me a spacious guest room with wooden flooring in a beautiful traditional house. My alarm woke me up and the morning sun rays greeted me as I opened the door.
The lady of the house gave me a cup of milk chai which I slowly sipped while sitting on the portico taking in the beautiful sunrise. I packed up my gears and bid goodbye to my host. A nice clear path contoured to the next hamlet of Anthiyari, the last inhabited settlement in the valley. The sun rays where peaking through the pine forest as the path traverses along the valley slope.
After Anthiyari the path hair pins up along a ridgeline towards the pass at 2400m, a thousand two hundred meter climb out of the Nagon Gad river valley below. The path was wide and climbed very gradually making it easy for people and horses carrying loads to climb up. The 800m climb from Chapra was therefore quite gentle and easy.
There were a few isolated dwellings along the way, some inhabited, some marked on the map but no longer existing. Beautiful rododendrom trees where adding a splash of bright red to the otherwise soft green forest. From the pass the path dropped down through a closed pine forest into the valley below to the first village of Muldhar.
Forest was making way for terrace farms in the base of the valley. Spread across I could see quite a few green houses. At Muldhar I got lucky – a share taxi filled with locals was ready to go. With only road to get me down the valley I quickly hopped into the ride. I did not realize that walking would be faster than the jeep.
At every hamlet down the road the driver was honking and waiting for regular passengers to come out of their homes and join. That sometimes took a long while making me wonder whether it would have been quicker to just walk down. Pahadi songs were playing on the radio, different lyrics woven into a universal tune.
We finally reached the main town of Tathyur in the Aglad river valley where everyone got of. With no breakfast and bring mid day I dropped into a small dhaba and ordered mommo’s and chowmin, both 30Rs for a half plate. My phone and power bank bring drained I next dropped into a sweet shop for tea, cream rolls and milk sweet to charge my electronics for the way ahead.
I crossed the river and climbed up along a nice path to Thapla, Suridhar and Kanaltha. The path gradually contoured up into a side valley to the Musoorie – New Tehri highway running on top of the main ridgeline above. I was planning to cross over into the next valley leading to Dehradun from where I had started my journey 3 months earlier.
I washed my socks in a fountain along the way and dried them on my backpack. I hit the highway by 3:30pm and dropped into a road side dhaba for early dinner as no further shops where ahead. Fried mommo’s and Mountain Dew were like a power boost recharging my energy levels. I dropped into a wide path below the highway which contoured gradually into the valley.
The sun was setting behind the ridgeline and a cold wind blew near the top. I crossed the hamlet of Motidhar and settled down a bit further on a small open hillock to shoot some gear reviews videos at the end of my 20/21 winter journey. The 5pm sun was slowly setting and provided the perfect soft lighting for the video shoot.
I pitched up my tent just before sunset on a small flat meadow amid valley slopes dotted with pine forest. Dogs and human voices could be heard further away from the villages around as I blogged my day traverse offline in WordPress. My camping spot in the wilderness away from human presence was serene and peaceful. The valley below was dotted with lights as fatness fell.